Just like any topic in Heilkunst medicine, solving vision issues is wholly dynamic. Right out of the gate, I typically tell patients that those cones, rods, and lenses found in your eyes are really just the most advanced optic camera fashioned by the most masterful craftsman imaginable. To study the eye, and our capacity to see, is to behold with wonder the full majesty of nature encapsulated in our own nature.
Doctor William Horatio Bates (1860 – 1930), New York ophthalmologist, and author of the book, “The Bates Method for Better Eyesight Without Glasses,” cited that the accepted way that we view the function of vision is inherently skewed. The indoctrinated thought that still prevails today can be sourced from Helmholtz theory that the ciliary muscles deep within the eye actually control the thickness of the lens, merely accommodating vision.
Doctor William Horatio Bates (1860 – 1930)
Bates recognized that the lens being the main “accommodation” for the enabling of vision is in fact not accurate. In fact, folks with cataracts and people born without a lens can still unexplainedly see clearly. He further deduced that the external eyeball muscles were actually responsible for the lengthening and shortening of the whole eye in its front-rear axle. If you think of the mode of action of a camera or set of binoculars, you’ll be closer to the truth of the eye’s true functioning.
Rudolf Steiner actually surmised that you don’t in fact “see” with your eyes. He went on to state that you also don’t actually “see” with your brain either. He suggested digging deeper into vision as a soul function. The reason he came to this conclusion is that you could have two identical twins who grew up in the same family who witnessed precisely the same events, but perceived colours, light, and actions totally differently.
Our experiences go through many emotional lenses to arrive at proprioception based on feelings, functions, and sensations. This is why it is so difficult to get consistent details from “eye”witnesses. So much of our human experience is brought to bear on “how” we see as a function of how we’ve been ensouled.
Wilhelm Reich spoke about health and our capacity to see truths, not as a function of our armouring or sexual stasis, but our truer healthy ability to remain wholly relaxed in our bodies. Through the liberation of rage, grief, fear, guilt, and resentment, we can “see” our lives more clearly. We can in turn also navigate others from this more relaxed state with kindness, love, compassion, and devotion.
Dr. Bates also spoke about how important a relaxed state is in seeing appropriately. “In Bates method, the ability of passive and dynamic relaxation is the first and basic technique improving the vision. By relaxation, I mean not only the general ability to relax the muscles, but also the relaxation of mind which is a condition for the process of vision to occur. In many cases, the relaxation techniques used by Bates turned out to be sufficient for the improvement of sight.”
The need for glasses indicates ocular armouring as per Wilhelm Reich. Armouring can be sourced from our conditioning, past traumas, Genetic Miasms, and/or belief structure. I know this is true as my own grandmother is 89 and has never worn glasses. Her pragmatic, appropriate, down to earth, and relaxed way of being has enabled her to retain 20/20 vision throughout her life thus far. It is a state of true balance and grace to be able to see clearly well into our advanced years.
I recall when I first came to Heilkunst treatment, I was sitting in the passenger seat being driven to work along a parkway that ran along the Ottawa river. It was fall and the leaves were first starting to change. There was a first hoar frost etching the leaves as the pink of dawn rose over the car behind me. I recall that I was suddenly impressed with the breadth and depth of hues and tones of the foliage of the trees.
Had I never seen such distinctions in colour before? Why was the vibrancy hitting me so profoundly? How had I not noticed the depth of gradation in each individual leaf and tree that made up this kaleidoscope in majesty of colour before? It felt like I was seeing nature in her ultimate glory for the first time. I was literally moved to tears with a deep love and compassion for this vision and the feeling of grace it conjured in me. That moment changed the trajectory of my life.
Since this time, we’ve helped many patients have the eyes to see. Based on all of the pieces above, we’re able to suss out a treatment protocol sourced from principle. In some individuals, it will be that they can solve much of their vision challenges by drinking 2.5 litres of water per day and increasing sleep (with blackout blinds), ease, rest, and relaxation.
Others do best from a combination of Dr. Bate’s exercises including palming – eye calisthenics using an eye chart by covering one eye at a time and reading the letters just as you would during an eye exam, and my favourite; looking way out into the vista to the farthest point possible and then back to a specific word in a book.
Most folks work on a computer, looking predominantly close up which means that over time, the muscles in the eyes will shorten. Although I am working with patients over long spans of time, I always work in front of a window with a phenomenal view of nature and water. I will look up from the Skype screen, periodically, to enable my eyes to look far out at the furthest point allowing my eyes to be flooded with natural light and impressions.
When I met my fellow Heilkünstler husband, Jeff Korentayer, he wore thick glasses like the bottom of Coke bottles. His eyes were magnified by his lens at least 3 fold. Dr. Estelle Saunders, a Bates Method supporting opthamologist in Ottawa, where we lived, suggested Jeff use the above exercises while also going through his own Heilkunst treatment to address the Genetic Miasms that had severely affected the vision of much of his ancestral family.
Through diligent work, using the Bates Method, breathable contact lenses (glasses actually inhibit the range and scope of one’s vision), and the decrease in lens prescription strength every 6 months, Jeff obtained an increase in vision by over 6 points. He can now wake at night without an ounce of concern for tripping over the cat enroute to the washroom.
Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), a natural therapy modality that speaks to neurological patterning, touts how our eyes will access memory by looking up to the left or down to the right, for example. This is a necessary function for our capacity for recall. If one is limited by bifocals or small framed glasses, memory will be inhibited as eyes won’t generally cross the barrier outside the frames to see more clearly. They’ll remain restricted within these parameters.
So many of our patients will cite how much better their recall and memory function has increased when they strengthen their capacity to see. Like me, their vision will be greatly enhanced in the most dynamic of ways, soaking up a broader spectrum of impressions through the capacity for this ensouled function. My goal is to be just as ocularly able at 89 as my beloved Nan!